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What is Craigslist?

by Aswad Sarkar
Craigslist

What is Craigslist?

Craigslist is a website created for a community electronic newsletter in San Francisco. Now it is one of the most visited Websites for local classifieds. It is active in over 450 cities globally. The service started its journey in mid of the 1990s and has since grown to cover the world.

Its only function is to publish classified ads that cover every category you can think of. The ads can be housing, job postings, items for sale, services, and more. The forums section in the website allows users to discuss topics on everything. The website will enable users to buy and sell goods in a community.

In 1995, Craig Newmark invented an online hub to inform visitors of local events. Then everyone near him started using his house post jobs, services, products. But it became a tricky job to handle. So, Craig wrote software that could add email postings to a website.

Craig-Newmark-founder

How does It work?

It functions as an online classifieds forum. It also allows for public discussions about job postings, service adds, and more. People can post ads, gigs, or take benefit of deals here. In a word, it works as a marketplace for various stuff.

Every craigslist site targets a specific community. Usually, it is only for classifieds and announcements within the community. In 2000, Boston joined this network as the first city. Then Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, & more city, including D.C, followed.

The community members moderate these sites. And the employees focus on coordinating transactions for the posts. They work to help the members and responding to reports of abuse or illegal activity. The executive team believes that craigslist gives users a place to help one another.

craigslist-functions

Look at some of the key sections you will find on this website:

Community

Usually, events and trends that are happening in your community for this section. Trending events includes classes, lost and found items, political forums, and news.

Services

This section is for offering various services to the people. You will find services like web design, car repair, and many agencies’ advertisements.

Housing

In this section, you will find postings for an apartment to let or rent. It is a section for the vast number of real estate listings in a specific area. If you are looking to buy, sell, rent, or trade any housing-related things, this is the list for you.

Jobs

You will find high traffic for job advertisements here. And it is widespread on Craigslist to find listings for any job in any field. The job posting includes education, real estate, Accounting, security, media, and many more.

Item for Sale

This is where you will find your desired items at a low price. It is one of the most-used section of craigslist. The ads are posted by different individuals selling anything.

Discussion Forums

sections-of-craigslist

You can join any discussion in the forum. It is a forum where everyone discusses everything in the world.

How Craigslist Earn Money?

Newmark once got the offer for posting sponsored ads on the website. But he refused the offer and focused on only a couple of revenue streams. The primary earning source of this marketplace are:

Fee for Job Posting

Posting job advertisements on this site need a specific fee in the central U.S cities. The cost ranges from $7 to $75, depending on the location.

Fee for apartments Ads

Whoever wants to post advertisements about the apartment list must pay $5 per plan. The fee applicable to Boston, Chicago, and New York regions.

Other Fees

Depending on the regions, it charges fees for other postings and ads. There is a page about the complete list of costs on the site.

How to Post on Craigslist?

Learn how to use this marketplace by following simple steps and instructions. You can also follow these steps to find other postings like gigs, housing, and more.

  • Go to the website’s home page by following craigslist.org. Turn on the location service to enter the most extensive community home page near you.
  • From the right side of the page, choose a location where you live. You will find a big list of cities here.
  • Now select the option “Post to Classifieds.” You will find it on the left side, under the logo. It will take you to a page that says, ‘What type of posting is this?’ Here you will find a list of posting categories.
post-to-classifieds
  • Check the option “for sale by owner” if you are selling by yourself. By clicking the Continue button, it will take you to another page. On the page, you will find more categories. Choose a category that aligns with your item.
  • After doing everything right, craigslist will give you a form to fill up the information.
  • Enter all the necessary information, including title, specific, price, item description, and everything.
Filling-up-the-form
  • Now you will find the option for adding images to your post. You can add one or more pictures here. If you want to convince the buyer, 4-5 photos with good descriptions will work fine.
Adding Craigslist images
  • Now continue and publish your post after filling in the other necessary information.

If you have done everything right, then congratulations. You have just made an ad on Craigslist! Now you will see a notification that says the list is updated every 15 minutes. It may sometimes take longer, even hours.

How to Ensure Safety on Craigslist?

While trading, you need to stay safe as any other online activity. Here are a few security tips you can consider if you are selling a product, service, or posting a gig on Craigslist.

  • Avoid adding all the contact info. Keep the information to the bare least and just enough for buyers.
  • Only consider cash during transactions. It may appear scams if you consider checks or money transfers.
  • Always invite buyers to a public place & public places are safe for transactions.
  • Ask questions about whatever you want to know about the item or service. To have a clear idea, request more photos from the seller.
  • Always pay after getting the item & don’t send money first.

Conclusion

Craigslist helps a broad range of users. The organized and helpful search engine makes it easy for everyone. They can post on the forums about shopping online, trading tips, and making new friends. But the biggest challenge for this community is weeding out scams. The scams might involve fake money orders or checks. Sometimes many users get into the trap while trading through craigslist.

Is Craigslist a threat to Journalism?

Author Russell Shaw says that it contributes to the decline of newspapers. He says by charging low prices for item ads and takes revenue away from newspapers. So, it is, of course, a threat to journalism.

How long does an ad last on craigslist?

Your postings can stay up to 30 days on this site. But the ads with fees can last 45-day.

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